In May 2023, President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was in China to discuss overhauling mining contracts signed under his predecessor and wooing Chinese investment. The DRC is a country rich in critical minerals, including cobalt, copper, and lithium, essential for the global economy and various industries such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, and technology. Critical minerals are fundamental components in renewable energy technologies. Chinese companies have been significant investors in the DRC’s mineral sector, playing a crucial role in these minerals’ extraction, processing, and supply chain.
Recognising the importance of this event and investment flows, we are focusing this edition of our community-building series on Chinese investment in the DRC’s critical mineral sector and the role of critical minerals in Africa’s transition. Chinese investment in Africa’s critical minerals sector has been substantial and influential. China’s growing demand for critical minerals, driven by its rapidly expanding economy and the global transition towards clean energy technologies, has actively led Chinese companies to pursue investments in Africa’s mineral-rich countries.
The session aims to foster dialogue, knowledge exchange, and collaboration among stakeholders from both countries. Critical minerals, also known as strategic minerals or rare earth elements, are essential to produce renewable energy technologies, energy storage systems, and electric vehicles. As Africa seeks to transition towards a cleaner and more sustainable energy future, these minerals play a crucial role in enabling and supporting this transition.